Sunday, June 26, 2011

Stickin' Picks!

First pickerel of the day
I got out today with Ken Capsey from Pike Pickerel Adventures today to chase some chainsides. Ken wanted me head with him to one of his favorite ponds. He said we would get into some Esox niger and he was right. We were both tossing perch patterns on 8 weight rods. I kept my leader pretty simple- about 4 feet of 18lb test, then 3 feet of 2X Mirage then about a foot and ahalf or so of 50 lb fluorocarbon.  Ken's was even simpler- 8 feet of 50 lb fluoro. We both used perch patterns. That was definitely the way to go. But we both had to do things differently: I put on a perch colored 2/0 Half and Half with big dumbell eyes while the fishin' redneck went with an EP fibre perch that had an epoxy head.
That fly is half your size buddy!

I got the party started with a decent fish in the 16" range. Those little buggers tug hard!  They are a ton of fun on an 8 and can be pretty easily fished on rods from 6 to 9. Ken and I both agree that a 7 or 8 weight is probably best- especially if you toss bigger flies for bigger fish (which both of us like to do). I banged out a little one of 8 inches or so and another in similar size. One more fish on the board for me put us at the size of the hook Ken was using- 4/0.
Ken was pleased with his first fish!

 Ken did of course redeem himself and got into some nice fish. His first fish was a respectable 18" fish that was really fat. When Ken grabbed ahold of it he felt something wiggle. We looked down that pickerel's gullet and sure enough there was a tail in there. Definitely made for a great picture. We kept hammering fish after that. Ken was stripping in flies fast, I started off stripping fast then switched to a slow deep retrieve. It really didn't matter- the fish took the flies no matter what we did.

Wiggle all you want Mr Perch- you aren't gonna get out!

Don't look so happy Ken...
Ken suggested we head out to these floating weed beds out in the middle. He said he gets into a lot of fish near them. I banged out a fish pretty quickly. Then another one. During this time I kept repeating "Sinking fly Ken". The last time I said that Ken said "I hear ya" and I said it again. He groaned when he realized that it meant I had my third fish from that weed bed.  He pulled a good fish out of there too.

Bandaid sticks on fly rod, but doesn't stick on line...
It was right about then that disaster struck! The middle pieces of my Hydros had worked themselves loose a bit and CRACK!!!  I pulled the tip section back to the boat. About an eighth of an inch of the rod broke off. Fortunately it was a clean break and I could put the halves back together. I didn't have any electrical tape with me (a standard piece of gear for me) so I asked what Ken had. Just a Bandaid- and that worked great! First aid for fly rods and another rod heading back to Orvis this week. Damn.

We drifted a bit further on to a deeper spot. Ken said that he had been getting some nice crappie in there. With that in mind I let my fly sink deeper and stripped it in even more slowly. I was rewarded with a good tug. It wasn't the fast hard strike of a pickerel so I was hopefull it was a big crap-ola. Mr. Slabsides came up and I had my Master Class black crappie in hand!  13.25" did it just nicely. Ken was right again.

Nice fish Ken
We both got into some more pickerel as we headed back to the launch site. Rain started coming down and since I am suffering from some sort of nasty summer cold/ebola virus we started cutting our fishing time short. Not before Ken showed off what his fly can do one last time. He put the biggest fish of the day in the boat just before we got off the water. It was around 22" and a nice fat fish. Great pickerel!  But the sinking fly still outfished the unweighted fly 11 to 7!

Always great to spend a day out on the water with Ken. I am sure I will get a few more in when Dave "McFluffchucker" Lindsay comes to visit in a couple of weeks. The three of us (and Kevin too) have some fishing to do. Dave has never caught a bowfin or a gar... I think I know someone who can change that!
The EP Fibre Perch works!

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